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#253214 - 11/12/12 03:25 PM "Hybrid Generator"
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
The following Blinding Flash of the Obvious is a huge marketing opportunity for someone.

Typical emergency generators tend to have a voracious appetite for fuel because the run full speed even at low load. The Honda "inverter" generators can throttle back at low load but keep running.

Why not take it a step further and add a built-in battery and auto starter to an inverter generator? Now you have continuous "keep alive" power to your heating system, refrigerator and lighting circuits, and the engine kicks in when the load increases.
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#253216 - 11/12/12 03:55 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1354
I would think that the appliance amp draw upon start up would be a problem for consumer class generators.

For example, when a fridge or freezer compressor kicks in, the amp draw is many times higher then once running. For this to auto start the generator, the battery at the generator would need a 12 volt inverter to briefly handle the appliance start load until the generator started and came up to speed.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#253218 - 11/12/12 04:17 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
Why not take it a step further and add a built-in battery and auto starter to an inverter generator? Now you have continuous "keep alive" power to your heating system, refrigerator and lighting circuits, and the engine kicks in when the load increases.


The main problem here is the size and weight of the battery and the added cost. Most small 2KVA inverter portable generators are weighing in at around 25Kg dry. Adding a 1Kwhr battery capacity using an SLA battery will take the weight of the hybrid to nearly 100Kg. Suddenly these generators aren't portable anymore. Going to LiFeYPo4 battery will take the weight to around 45kg.

The cost of ownership would also more than double to take efficiency from 20% to 40%. i.e. Hybrid generators would unlikely to cost less than $2000. A better solution would be to have a portable solar powered battery/inverter system module which can be boosted/recharged very quickly when required via mains or generator when required.

Having an electric start like the Yamaha gennies combined with an integrated control signal to boost/recharge the solar battery module when required would be a better solution.

You could then have the choice of purchasing the solar/battery module as an additional module for the Generator to turn it into a hybrid.


Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/12/12 04:46 PM)

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#253221 - 11/12/12 05:08 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 899
Loc: NW NJ
That's the point. A standard lead-acid starting-duty/marine battery would probably be optimum. The inverter already has to handle the startup current draw of the load. In a few seconds once load has settled down, the engine could start up. For lower loads, the system would run off the battery for a while.

Incremental cost is the battery ($100) and starter motor ($50?).
_________________________
- Tom S.
Mora Knives & Adventurer Series Survival Gear

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

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#253225 - 11/12/12 06:46 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
What you are talking about is kind of like how an off-the-grid system works.

A buddy of mine has solar panels on his home, which charge a bank of batteries. The batteries than feed an inverter, which runs his house. In case the battery voltage drops too low, a stand-by propane/natural gas generator kicks on to charge the batteries and help power the home.


It's a great system, as he's completely independent of the power grid. He also bought a Chevy Volt for his daily driver, so now for most short trips he doesn't pay for gas either.

It has two major downsides though. The first is cost, his system was tens of thousands of dollars to set up. The second is the amount of space you need. Between the propane tank, generator, solar panels, battery bank, inverters and controllers it's definitely not a portable system.

You could probably make a portable size version, but it would put out a very low wattage for its size and weight. It would also likely be very expensive for the wattage.

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#253487 - 11/17/12 02:15 AM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
Ironwood Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 87
I was going to build a diesel single cylinder Yanmar motor running a Tractor Trailer alternator to idle along and charge a battery bank. Thne run an inverter. This would NOT power large high amp things but certainly could run lots of LED lights and some simple things. Quiet and fuel efficient. This was mostly for a homemade RV thing, but could work just the same for bugging in.

Ironwood

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#253492 - 11/17/12 03:29 AM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1506
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
since the demand for a refrigerator compressor start is triggered by a thermostat, how about a time delay relay, that can first energize the electric start of the generator...allow a 15 or so second run time to get up to speed... then energize the relay to start the compressor....when the compressor kicks off, it grounds the ignition to stop the generator....

comments from engineers?


Edited by LesSnyder (11/17/12 03:30 AM)

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#253494 - 11/17/12 03:57 AM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2902
Loc: USA
With some generators, at least, the recommendation is to run them for two minutes before putting on any loads.

I'd probably go for a propane powered fridge. Or I'd figure out how often I needed to run my generator to keep my fridge and freezer working, and just run it that often.

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#253496 - 11/17/12 12:24 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1506
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
I've been on the lookout for a full size propane ammonia absorption refrigerator for a lot of years...we have several stilt homes about 1/2 mile off shore in the Gulf.. off the mouth of a local river... in the early days (50s and 60s) they all had ARKLA refrigerators and Aladdin lamps before generators were popular...

you could dial in any time delay on the relay


Edited by LesSnyder (11/17/12 12:25 PM)

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#253498 - 11/17/12 01:20 PM Re: "Hybrid Generator" [Re: thseng]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
The new refrigerators are very efficient and run easily with a small solar system,then back that up with a small genny.Also the surge power for startup on new appliances is far less than older models,we have come a long way last ten years on appliance efficiency.

You dont need the hyper epensive bleeding edge solar models now as solar costs have gone through the floor they just dont pay.EnergyStar standards have come a long way for regular consumer models with little added costs.

Solar has the advantage of sustainability longer term after propane long gone.And pretty much youve paid upfront for the energy costs.

When Bud went with a solar powered freezer he went three years and never needed to run his genny at all to back it up,running his home on 800 watts of solar.This was Northern cal on a mtn with snowy/rainy weather.

The one that failed was his propane refer,the pilot blew out and he came back to a rotten mess,he would leave a month at a time.

Remember,when your solar is producing less during winter r/t bad weather/less solar gain your cooling needs are also reduced at the same time.

His freezer was on the back porch (you could put em in an unheated room),lower ambient temp less temp differential you need to overcome.

Solar is the way to go for refer/freezer needs,really works well.

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